In a Historical achievement, Nepal qualify for their first-ever Asia Cup tournament

Saurabh Anand

May 2 2023
Nepal Cricket Team

Nepal defeated UAE in the ACC Premier Cup final to secure a place alongside India and Pakistan in Group A of Asia Cup 2023.

It was a day of high emotions and history for Nepal Cricket Team. After so much hard work and great cricket, they have finally qualified for the Asia Cup 2023. This will be Nepal’s first-ever Asia Cup tournament. Nepal, with a win over UAE in the Premier Cup finals, have booked their place alongside India and Pakistan in Group A. There are still uncertainties over Asia Cup 2023. There’s a big conflict going on between the BCCI and PCB over the venue of the competition. Nepal defeated UAE in a low-scoring game by 7 wickets to secure their maiden Asia Cup place.

Nepal defeat UAE in the ACC Premier Cup final

Premier Cup hosts, Nepal bundled UAE for just 117 runs on a bowling-friendly day. Left-arm spinner Lalit Rajbansi picked up 4 wickets conceding only 14 runs in his 7.2 overs spell. Nepali bowlers were at their best and were motivated to create history in Kirtipur. Chasing 118, Nepal had got off to a poor start with both openers losing their wickets under 20. Soon after, captain Rohit Paudel also lost his wicket giving UAE an outside chance. But Nepal’s number 3 Gulshan Jha with his half-century made all the doubts clear and prepared Nepal to take a flight for Asia Cup in September 2023. Gulshan remained unbeaten on 67 with Bhim Sharki (36). They both added 96 runs together to give Nepal a much-needed win in their history.

Overall 10 teams were part of the ACC Premier Cup. Premier Cup is a platform for the associate countries to secure a place in the prestigious ACC Asia Cup tournament. In 2022, alongside all 5 ACC test-playing nations, Hong Kong played as an associate country. This will be Nepal’s first major breakthrough in International cricket. Before this, they played in the 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh where they were knocked out of the qualifier round. Nepal defeated Hong Kong and Afghanistan in that qualifier round. Asia Cup 2023 will be tough as they are placed among two top teams India and Pakistan.

Uncertainty over Asia Cup 2023

There are uncertainties over the tournament schedule as well as the hosts. With an ongoing tussle between the BCCI and PCB, the tournament is yet to be finalised by ACC. Asia Cup 2023 is scheduled to be played in September 2023, just a month before the World Cup. As the tournament host is Pakistan, the BCCI might not send their team to Pakistan. Earlier a media report suggested that if PCB doesn’t agree to host the Asia Cup outside Pakistan, BCCI is planning for a 5-nation tournament in September this year. Later they were termed as rumors and according to a few sources, Asia Cup will happen on time. 

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